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Archive for August 29th, 2006

President Bush has been trying to maintain a united Republican Party amid flagging conservative support and a split with the GOP’s liberal wing.

The two wings are so far apart that party strategists no longer envision a united front for the November congressional elections. The strategists said many of the liberals, already alienated from the White House, have been campaigning as opponents of the president in an effort to win re-election as part of an expected Democratic Party sweep of Congress.

”I think we’ve lost our way,” said Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican and possible presidential contender in 2008. ”And I think the Republicans are going to be in some jeopardy for that and will be held accountable.”

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NSA SUBPOENA

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Senate moves to give Bush more power to wiretap

A bill that expands President Bush’s ability to wiretap American phones and conduct other forms of domestic surveillance will likely appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Thursday.

The bill, which was written by judiciary chairman Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), and which has been widely and publicly excoriated by Democratic members of the committee, contains provisions—such as the institution of program-wide warrants, and warrants that do not expire for a year—that would weaken the strict limits that currently govern the FISA courts.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was written nearly 20 years ago and offers guidelines about the legal use of wiretaps on phones inside the United States. It includes provisions for the use of courts to issue warrants if the government’s case against a suspect meets legal scrutiny.

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Bush White House to be subpoenaed by wiretap lawyers

Two attorneys representing claimants in a lawsuit over wiretapping by the National Security Agency will subpoena the White House today.

Bruce Afran and Carl Mayer, who represent hundreds of plaintiffs in lawsuits against Verizon, AT&T, and the US Government, will announnce today that they are serving both the Bush administration and Verizon with subpoenas.
The announcement is due to arrive at 4:30 PM, outside of Verizon headquarters in New York.
The subpoenas come on the heels of two federal court decisions that were seen as blows to the Bush Administration warrantless spying program.
Earlier this month, federal judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled the entire program unconstitutional and illegal; another federal judge in San Francisco rejected the Bush Administration’s attempt to dismiss these lawsuits by claiming they breach national security.
Mayer explained that the subpoena seeks to learn “whether the Bush administration has unlawfully targeted journalists, peace activists, libertarians, members of congress or generated an ‘enemies list.’”
Afran said he expected the White House to again claim that the state secrets doctrine forbade it from answering the subpoena, but called the claim “Absolute nonsense.”
“That’s an invitation for presidents to write their own rules and we’ve had judges multiple times say that state secrets is not a defense,” he explained, adding, “We hope the White House will realize the need to cooperate.”

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The Constitution of the United States of America

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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Democrats Now Favored to Take Over DeLay’s Old Seat

The Texas Republican Party establishment has rallied around a single candidate, Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, in their unusual write-in campaign to salvage the 22nd Congressional District seat vacated in June by Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader.

But the extreme rarity of successful write-in campaigns for Congress and the presence of a solid Democratic nominee on the ballot in former Rep. Nick Lampson has prompted CQPolitics.com to change its rating on the 22nd District race to Leans Democratic from No Clear Favorite.

The GOP faces a world of trouble in this race because of a serious miscalculation on the part of DeLay and his party colleagues.



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Tide appears to be growing against GOP



Despite a divisive Democratic primary in Connecticut and renewed attention to homeland security in the wake of a foiled terrorist plot, the political wave that Democrats hope will wash out Republican majorities in Congress appears to be getter larger.

With 83 days before the election, independent analysts and political observers say that the universe of competitive congressional races is broadening. Most of these newly identified endangered incumbents are Republicans, increasing the chances of a Democratic takeover of one or both chambers of Congress.

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